Edson Arantes do Nascimento (born October 23, 1940), nicknamed Pelé, is a Brazilian football player, considered by many to be the best player of all time. Arguably the perfect footballer, Pelé was completely two-footed, a clinical finisher, highly skilled at dribbling and passing, and a remarkably good tackler for a forward.
Pelé started his football career in Santos in 1956, at the age of 15, and played in his first international match only ten months later. Ever loyal to his local club, he stayed with Santos for his entire career. In 1958, Pelé became the youngest ever World Cup winner in Sweden at 17. He played in two more Brazilian World Cup-winning teams, in 1962 and 1970. He was the jewel in the crown of the famous Brazil '70 team, which also included such greats as Rivelino, Jairzinho and Tostão. He missed most of the 1962 and 1966 World Cups due to injuries sustained in the early stages of the tournament.
After his retirement from Brazilian soccer on October 3, 1974, he joined the New York Cosmos. He played his last game as a professional on October 1, 1977 in front of a capacity crowd at Giants Stadium against his old club, Santos; he played the first half with the Cosmos and the second half with Santos. The exhibition game was sold out six weeks beforehand. He also played a friendly match with the Lebanese club Nejmeh in 1974 (see Lebanon football).
Pelé is in third place in the list of all-time top scorers in World Cup play, with 12 goals, and he is the only player who has been on a team that won three World Cups. He ended his career with a total of 1281 goals out of 1363 games, becoming one of the most prolific goal scorers ever. In his 92 appearances for the Brazilian team, he scored 77 goals.
He was voted athlete of the century by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1999. He is a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador. Nowadays, Pelé is almost certainly the most famous man in football, with his nickname being recognized even by those unfamiliar with the sport.
Quelle: all-science-fair-projects.com (eine wirklich umfangreiche Enzyklopädie für Kinder und Größere - in Englisch)